Bringing Jane Austen to the 21st Century
Kaitlin Saunders: A Modern Day Persuasion

“Ordinary World”

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on April 13, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Guess what?  I’ve already received some feedback about my novel.  Check out a few of the responses to the right of your screen under the caption, “What Readers Have to Say…”  Have something to share as well?  Send it my way!

This week, instead of an Austen adaptation movie review, I’m going to share something extra special in honor of selling out of my first shipment.

While I was writing A Modern Day Persuasion, music definitely played a role in crafting my adaptation.  I am a music junkie–especially when a tune plucks at my heart strings or feels like it belongs in a movie soundtrack.  In fact, when I write, I like to picture my story as if it’s on the big screen and often, picking out music to set the mood of the scene helps to inspire me.

Below I reveal 12 particular tunes (along with the chapters they belong to) which would have been my selections for A Modern Day Persuasion’s soundtrack.  Try listening to these tunes in sequence and see if it helps better bring the story alive!

1. “Thinking About You” by Norah Jones — Chapter 1

2. “Till It Happens to You” by Corinne Bailey Rae — Chapter 4

3. “Thinking It Over” by Dana Glover — Chapter 6

4. “Golden Days” by the Damnwells — Chapter 20

5. “Maybe” by Dana Glover — Chapter 21

6. “Sleep Like A Child” by Joss Stone — Chapter 27

7. “Better Off Alone” by Katharine McPhee — Chapter 28

8. “Up All Night” by Charlotte Martin — Chapter 39

9. “Like A Star” by Corrine Bailey Rae — Near the end of Chapter 39

10. “Just to Feel That Way” by Taylor Hicks — Near the end of Chapter 44

11. “Ordinary World” by Katharine McPhee – Near the end of Chapter 45

12. “At Last” by Etta James — Blast this after you finish reading the book (and don’t be afraid to swoon back onto the couch)!

Enjoy!

Kaitlin

Perhaps Margaret is right. Piracy is our only option.

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on April 6, 2011 - (Comments Off)

This past weekend, my mother-in-law hosted a Persuasion movie-viewing party in honor of my newly released book.  It was a blast!  We shared all kinds of delicious-tasting goodies (including some chocolate my world-traveling sister-in-law purchased during her backpacking trip to Europe!) over great conversation and tea before starting the memorable classic.  While surrounded by my mother, new sisters and “mom-too”, as well as my husband’s aunt and her delightful daughter, I spoke about my novel, discussing the alterations I had to make to Austen’s classic in order to take it into the 21st century.  Then afterwards, we started the movie.  My mom would chip in now and then with her lovable enthusiasm and kept the audience informed about how much more she enjoyed this or that aspect of my novel in comparison to the real turn of events on film.  Thanks Mom.  If you have any comments or questions concerning my book, feel free to contact me!

And just a reminder – my novel is for sale through Amazon, this website, and the provided link to your right.  For those of you who have ordered directly through me, I’m hoping your orders will arrive this week for me to personalize before passing them on to you!

This week’s film adaptation to be reviewed is Sense and Sensibility. This is a story of two very different sisters who equally suffer heartbreak before realizing love in the end.  There are several adaptations of this novel worth mentioning, but you will see shortly which one I am most biased about.  Produced in 1981, we were introduced to one of the first attempts at S&S starring Irene Richard (whom you may recognize from other BBC productions at that time).  This adaptation stays very close to the storyline: Marianne is the more beautiful sister and Edward is not very good-looking.  The acting may be a tad dramatic, but for Austen fans, it’s a great add to your personal video collection.

Next came Emma Thompson’s masterfully written version in 1995.  This is a beautiful film – indeed, it inspired me to begin writing!  The dialogue, the cinematography, the music, the superb acting – almost everything about this film is perfect.  I say almost because one vital scene is missing… I hate to admit it, but cutting Willoughby’s surprise arrival while Marianne is on her sick bed and pleading for forgiveness with Elinor was a disappointment!  Although my mom swears the scene was included when she and my grandmother first saw this movie in theaters, it is not available on any purchasable dvd/vhs, and indeed Emma and the film’s producer Lindsay Doran confirm during the film’s commentary that it had to be cut due to time issues (a film can only be so long!).  Despite this, I recommend this version as the best.  Although not wholly accurate, Emma Thompson’s cleverly written adaptation by far delivers the best punch.

Marianne and Elinor Dashwood

There is, however, one more version of Sense and Sensibility left to mention.  Brought to us in 2008 and written by the 1995 P&P’s screenwriter Andrew Davies, BBC presented a well produced and enjoyable mini-series.

Although I own this version and enjoy pulling it out now and then to watch it, I honestly feel like they tried too hard.  Some of the dialogue and scenes seem forced; a portion of the humor and mockery have a hard time flowing throughout – yet, the imagery, the scenery (although the cottage isn’t accurately located), the thoughtful music, Margaret, Brandon, etc., etc…make it worth watching.  And of course they had to add a wet t-shirt akin to Mr. Darcy in P&P for Edward!  Haha!  In all, no matter what version you pick out to watch next, Sense and Sensibility will prove itself enduringly heart-warming.

And there you have it folks!  Until next time,

Kaitlin

The Book Is Now Officially Available on Amazon!

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on March 26, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Greetings my lovely guests!

By Kaitlin Saunders

A Modern Day Persuasion is now available on Amazon for purchase!  Check it out!

And just a reminder, you can purchase it through Amazon.com or this website/the included site link to your right.

I hope you enjoy reading it!

Hugs,

Kaitlin

The Book Is Now Available For Sale!

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on March 24, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Greetings Friends!

A Modern Day Persuasion will be available on Amazon.com by mid-next week!   If you’d rather purchase a copy today, it is available through my website.

For those of you who have purchased the book in advance (the autographed copy), thanks so much for your patience!  I should be receiving them soon and my hope is to have them ready in a week or two!

If you have any comments, questions, or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me via my website or email!

Hugs,

Kaitlin

The Most Beautiful Thing In The World Is A Match Well Made

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on March 24, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Hi friends!

My husband and I returned last night from our trip to the wonderful country of Canada. What a blast! We stayed at the most fantastic B&B in Victoria, British Columbia, and visited Craigdarroch Castle, the Butchart Gardens, Hatley Park, and the Royal BC Museum. Even though we arrived a little under the weather, we didn’t let that dampen our spirits or the enjoyment of our adventure. Hatley Park, if you were unaware, is a fabulous castle that has housed many motion pictures and TV series. Among the films/TV series that have used the historical site are Little Women (with Winona Ryder), X-Men (Xavier’s school for the gifted), and Smallville, the WB hit. Crazy, huh?

Speaking of films, I think it’s about time for the next blog post critiquing yet another Jane Austen film adaptation! On the chopping block this time is Emma. For many of you, the 1996 pairing of Gwyneth Paltrow and Jeremy Northam probably comes to mind when thinking of this delightful Austen story—and rightly so. Cleverly acted with particularly good casting, this adaptation has struck a chord with audiences world-wide.

But let’s not forget the two other versions also worth mentioning. Released the same year but for television, Emma starring Kate Beckinsale and Mark Strong is worth watching. At 107 minutes, the viewer is allowed adequate time to see the story unfold and the acting is superb. Although Mark Strong may not be as likable as Jeremy playing Mr. Knightley at first, Mark’s portrayal grows on you and towards the end of the movie you admire him just as much.

Last but not least we have the most recent, and in my opinion, the most beautifully and thoroughly captured version of Emma. Brought to us in 2009 as a mini-series by BBC, it stars Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller (along with so many other favorites in the British acting scene).

Emma and Mr. Knightley

Throughout its 240 minutes, this adaptation is successful in capturing the essence of Jane’s classic in so many ways—just watch it and you’ll see what I’m taking about! The cinematography, the casting, the settings, the costumes—this is the type of movie project which inspires me to write and create stories for the big screen! Well, there you have it folks—as you can tell, I have a favorite Emma adaptation, but what about you?

An Update On My Book

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on March 9, 2011 - (1 Comments)

Last week I reviewed one of the final drafts of my book, providing feedback to the publisher concerning a handful of changes I’d like to see completed. Unfortunately, this means the release of my novel will be delayed a week or two. I thank you for your patience during this process and look forward to revealing the finished product to you soon!

I’ll keep you posted as to the book’s updated release date, which may not be until April 2011 at the latest.

Hugs,

Kaitlin

Ladies and Gentlemen!

According to the survey results from my website, the majority of voters believe that Pride and Prejudice has the best film adaptation to date. This I would agree to, yet I have to ask—which one? There have been so many great actors and actresses that have dared to fill the shoes of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.

There’s the 1980′s mini-series (my mother’s favorite) which showcases a sharp and beautiful Elizabeth but a rather stiff Mr. Darcy.  Although not as masterfully crafted in comparison to what BBC is now capable of doing, this version still ranks as one of the best.

Next is the 1995 mini-series starring Jennifer Ehle and the now uber-famous Colin Firth.  This five hour adaptation, written by the legendary Andrew Davies, does wonders in bringing the book to life, staying so closely in tune with the story that it could almost be considered educational.

Mrs. Bennett gives her daughters the scoop!

And lastly, we must consider Keira Knightley’s take on Elizabeth in the 2005 film directed by Joe Wright.

Picturesque and beautifully filmed, the acting is superb and this adaptation attempts to portray the differences in wealth and station more closely than others. Yet if one has not read the original novel or watched any of the prior adaptations, this version may leave newcomers feeling somewhat lost and confused. Still one of my favorites (I personally believe Matthew Macfadyen did a wonderful job playing Mr. Darcy—don’t tell my husband this though!), I have to say it lacks in comparison to the complete package of the 1995 mini-series. I recommend that you check all three out and form your own opinion. You can pick up the 1980′s version at your local library—and it’s definitely worth sitting down for.

In reference to the other Austen film adaptations, Mansfield Park, Emma, Sense and Sensibility, and Northanger Abbey, allow me to say a few words about them as well. Over the next few weeks, I’ll give you my critical review of each version, starting with Mansfield Park which I’ve included below.

Mansfield Park has not been represented well on screen whatsoever. Although this love story is one of my personal favorites, I would feel quite differently if judging solely from the film adaptations—which leaves no mystery as to why this story is not as popular as the rest of Jane’s novels.

First there was the 1983 mini-series. Although this stays close to the original plot, the acting is its downfall—particularly the casting of Fanny. Although I have enjoyed Susan Edmonstone in other BBC projects, Susan must have either misinterpreted Fanny’s character or was ill-directed in her portrayal.  Susan’s take makes Fanny appear uptight, spiteful, and sometimes rude—so unlike the Fanny from the novel.

Edmund and Fanny

Then there was the 1999 version which I referenced in a previous post as an adaptation that would make Jane roll over in her grave.  Straying from the plot in ways you’d much rather be spared, this version was a major letdown.

Honestly not worth watching.

And then let’s not forget the newest 2007 release.

So far the only really worth watching!

Although delightful in a few ways, the amount of cleavage will make you squirm. Not only that, but once again Fanny was miscast, being played by Billie Piper. Billie, though beautiful and popular in the UK, brought a new element to Fanny—impishness. This new slightly vixen quality made it unbelievable that Edmund would have taken so long in viewing Fanny as more than just a “kid sister” and friend. So you see, my tasters have yet to be satisfied with a Mansfield Park that I can stand by and fully recommend. Speaking of which, can I share with you a little dream I have? One day, I would like to have a hand in bringing about a mini-series of Mansfield Park that would finally do Jane’s story justice…and who knows…stranger things have happened!

Adieu for now my friends,

Kaitlin

BAM! Jane Austen hits the big screen again!

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on February 17, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Hello ya’ll!

If you are not yet aware, another modern installment of Sense and Sensibility is due to hit the big screen this Saturday in Salem. It’s called Prada to Nada and is a very loosely-based adaptation. Check out the trailer and see if you agree with me that this movie looks worth a trip to the theater!

Coming to Netflix May 3rd

Sticking with the topic of movie news, a new version of Jane Eyre is coming to theaters March 11th. You might recall BBC’s latest take on it (with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens), the 2006 mini-series. Beautifully acted and skillfully produced, I felt movie-makers finally got it right (and not only that, my husband enjoyed it too!). This 3-1/2 hour take on the governess’ romance took time to explain why Jane, an eighteen year old girl, would fall for the older and troubled Mr. Rochester. Next month’s release, starring Mia Wasikowska, seems cinematically beautiful and dramatic, but will it hit the spot?

By the way, check out the poll on the right side of my web page and let me know what you’re thinking!

That’s all for now folks!

Until next time,
Kaitlin

Elementary, my dear Watson!

Posted by Kaitlin Saunders in Blog on February 9, 2011 - (Comments Off)

Welcome back ladies and gents!

I find myself feeling very English today–perhaps it’s because I’ve been thinking of my uncle and sister-in-law who are both planning trips abroad this year. Alas, I am envious (although already having traveled to England with my ‘mum’ now almost two years ago), but I think I’ve found just the cure. Ah-hem…another drumroll please…

Although my first recommendation would of course be my forthcoming novel, “A Modern Day Persuasion”, to be released in March, I don’t expect us 21st century beings to be satisfied with “wait” in a world that screams “now!” Therefore, there is a close second to tide you over in the meantime.

I challenge each of you to pick up a copy of the movie adaptation Persuasion starring Amanda Root and Ciaran Hinds, and immerse yourself in the classic tale. In my opinion, this is the most closely-crafted production of Jane Austen’s novel based in its original time period. Pop some popcorn or grab a bag of chocolates and curl up on the couch to this beloved story brought to life. Introduce (or reintroduce) yourself to Persuasion’s story and its memorable characters–do your home-work before reading my novel soon to be released! But most of all, have fun.

Cheers! :)
Until next time, friends,
Kaitlin

Welcome ladies and gentlemen to my site! I intend to keep my viewers entertained with witty blog posts, updates on Jane Austen inspired information, and secret “newsleaks” about forthcoming novels by none other than me!

But the real reason you’re visiting my website, I imagine, is not just to hear about whatever entertaining thought might be circulating in my mind, but rather to introduce yourself to my first novel.

Ahh…romance… (as I let out a contended sigh) Let me begin by telling you what inspired me to write A Modern Day Persuasion, which is a modern day approach to the beloved classic (and my personal favorite), Persuasion.

Many of you, like myself, probably adore the multiple adaptations of Jane Austen films, like Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Emma, Mansfield Park, and well…Persuasion. Yet, how many of you have the patience to tackle the Napoleonic-Era verbiage novels? Thus came my inspiration to introduce my friends to the magic of Jane’s pen in a language a modern day woman can relate to.

So whether you have read Jane Austen’s classics as is and are looking for another Austen-inspired novel to wet your romance-appetite, or you’re curious about sinking your teeth into what has spellbound women (and men) for the past several hundreds of years in a 21st Century approach, you’ve found the right book.

Persuasion is a story based on love and second chances. Many would like to correlate the posthumously published classic as that of Jane Austen’s recollections and fantasy concerning her ill-fated romance with Tom Lefroy.

I cry every time I watch this movie.

Although Becoming Jane starring Anne Hathaway makes me shed many tears over the bittersweet tale, I’ll leave it up to you to decided whether it’s historically accurate. The books theme sheds a positive light on life, which is to always believe that circumstances happen for a reason.

I hope you enjoy this modern approach, re-introducing yourself to a familiar friend, Anne, as you follow her present day love story.

Adieu for now,
Kaitlin